The Chick-fil-A in Reno is one of many businesses that has been in the weeds because of challenges with staffing.
The owner, Ryan Smith said, "For perspective, last year about this time we had about 80 to 90 employees. About a month ago we were at about 60."
As his business faced staffing issues, Smith had to work overtime to keep the restaurant afloat.
"There have been moments where I, myself have just jumped in and started making sandwiches and worked the window and that's just necessary to be able to run this business and I'm totally okay with that." he said. "In fact we've gone to such extremes where I've actually flown my in laws out to watch the kids so that my wife can do the same. So we're here supporting the business day in and day out."
However things started to turn around since he started focusing on advertising the fast food restaurant's job opportunities and incentives. Several signs reading $17 per hour in black and red print have been surrounding the location on South McCarran Boulevard, and it's been attracting more job seekers as the word gets out about the benefits and wages.
Team Members starting wage is $17 if a person has full-time availability. Staff members are still eligible to earn that rate if they end up working part-time hours. However, a employee must have the availability required. Team Members hired as part-time employees earn about $14 to $16 an hour. The starting wage for leadership roles is $18. The company is advertising its employee benefits which includes paid vacations, free meals, health insurance, retirement plans, and scholarship programs.
"We're in a hiring spree right now. Obviously we got the holidays upon us so we're trying to hire as many people as possible, as such, we're trying to offer the highest compensation too. We have high expectations, and so we coupled that with high compensation." Smith added, "I just feel strongly that we are trying to attract the best possible candidates so if we can offer the best possible wage that our business model allows, then we'll go ahead and do it."
Enthusiastic new hire, Leticia Ortiz said, "You go to other fast food restaurants and you're only making $11 or $12 an hour, but Chick-fil-A? I mean, $17? Who can beat that, you know?"
Ortiz said the pay is enticing, however she could name a lot more reasons that makes her happy at work and want to stay.
It's a fun job. It's a good environment to work for and everybody works as a team." she said. "The atmosphere, the food, the food is yummy! Who doesn't like Chick-fil-A you know?"
Each Chick-fil-A franchise is independently owned and operated, so wages could vary depending on locations.